When you think of Disney World you probably think of Mickey Mouse and Cinderella. But don’t overlook the Disney World roller coasters. You will find some of the world’s most innovative and family oriented roller coasters in Walt Disney World.
All photos courtesy of Expressmonorail
Disney World is known for it’s mountains. You will find Disney classic roller coasters Space Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain at Magic Kingdom. Disney’s newest mountain, Expedition Everest is in Animal Kingdom. If you want to accelerate from 0 to 57 mph in just 2.8 seconds and experience more G Force than a Shuttle launch then Aerosmith’s Rock N Roller Coaster at Disney Hollywood Studios is the place to be. Of course Disney has something for all ages and the little ones can enjoy Goofy’s Barnstormer in Magic Kingdom.
Which Disney World roller coaster travels at just 28 mph but is probably the best known of all? Which train gives you the most thrilling ride on Big Thunder Mountain? And how can you spend less time in line and more time enjoying the attractions?
Disney World Space Mountain
Space Mountain is perhaps the best known and best loved Disney World roller coaster. It is located in Tomorrowland in Magic Kingdom. It opened on January 15th 1975 and has been one of Disney World’s most popular rides ever since. Space Mountain is a roller coaster in the dark which relies heavily on Disney Imagineering for it’s appeal. Riders are surprised to learn that the top speed of Space Mountain is just 28 miles per hour. The steepest drop is 39 degrees. But it’s twists and turns and unexpected drops make is one of the best loved and most popular Disney World rides.
There are 2 roller coaster tracks inside Space Mountain – Alpha and Omega. But no need to be concerned about which side that you get as both offers the same experience.
Best loved of course means long lines. So make use of the Fast Pass system when you can. Space Mountain is the first attraction that many people head to when arriving at Magic Kingdom. It is often a good idea not to just be one of the crowd – so if you want to cut down your wait time make sure that you head to Tomorrowland for a Fast Pass as soon as you arrive. Another tactic is to wait until nearer park closing to see how long the line is.
The height restriction for Space Mountain is 44″ and children under the age of 7 must have an adult with them. If you have a child too small or just too scared to ride then use the Child Swap facility where one parent can ride and the other waits. The waiting parent can then swap and enter the Fast Pass Line. Ask a Cast Member for details before joining the line.
Disney Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Disney’s Big Thunder Mountain is located in Frontierland is Magic Kingdom. This is another Disney classic having first appeared in Disneyland. The theme is a cursed runaway train in the abandoned town of Tumbleweed, an old gold rush town which was deserted following a flash flood. Big Thunder Mountain is wonderfully themed and the attention to detail is as you would expect from Disney, exceptional. The mountain is inspired by the landscape of Utah and Arizona’s Monument Valley.
The Big Thunder Mountain train reaches speeds of up to 30 miles an hour and there are 3 significant dips. The ride is 3 minutes long, Nothing really scary though so this one is usually fine to take the youngest of the kids provided they meet the 40″ height requirement. Guests who do not enjoy the larger roller coasters will usually enjoy Big Thunder Mountain. So even if you usually say no to roller coasters you may want to give Big Thunder Mountain a try.
Those looking for the more thrilling experience should ask the Cast Member is they can ride on the back.
Big Thunder Mountain is an entirely different experience after dark. If you have experienced it in the day time be sure to go back at night if you have the time,
It is one of the most popular rides in Magic Kingdom so be sure to use the Fast Pass system.
Rock N Roller Coaster
The Aerosmith Rock N Roller Coaster is one of the most popular rides in Walt Disney World. Located in Disney Hollywood Studios this 80 foot tall 2 minute 2 second indoor roller coaster ride accelerates from 0-57 mph in 2.8 seconds. Rock N Roller coaster is a ride which will satisfy even the most serious of adrenaline seekers.
You will experience between 4 and 5 G Force depending on where you sit in the ride.
Rock N Roller coaster may be a thrill ride but it is very much a Disney experience. The inspiration was the music of Aerosmith. Guests will first step into the G-Force Recording Studio to meet their rock and roll hosts. You will learn that Aerosmith need to leave quickly to speed their way to their next concert. You will travel in a special stretch limo as their guests.
The Aerosmith Rock N Roller Coaster features a specially recorded sound track which you will hear through special speakers mounted in your stretch limo vehicle. It almost takes your mind of the fact that you are speeding around the track at anywhere at up to 57 mph and going through 3 inversions. Well almost but not quite!
This is a pretty intense ride for Disney World and some guests may change their mind in the loading area. The sight of the stretch limo accelerating away at such speed is a little too much for some. If you decide it is all too much then just tell a Cast Member and they will show you how to exit.
Rock N Roller Coaster is a popular ride. A Fast Pass is available for this ride and there is also a Single Rider Line. Make use of both of these facilities if you can. Rock N Roller Coaster is right by Hollywood Tower of Terror so when you arrive in the park look at the board for the wait times on both of them and decide which to ride first and which to get a Fast Pass for.
There is a height requirement for Rock N Roller Coaster of 48 inches. A Child Swap is available. If there is a member of your party too small, young or just plain scared to ride the attraction then one of you can stand in line while the other waits with the child. Then after the first person has experienced the ride the other can get into the Fast Pass Line. You must ask a Cast Member for a Child Swap pass before you get in line.
Disney Expedition Everest
Head on over to Disney’s Animal Kingdom for the newest roller coaster. In keeping with Disney tradition Expedition Everest is another mountain attraction. It debuted on April 7th 2006 and took Disney Imagineers 6 years to research and build. As you would expect the attention to detail is amazing. The line for Expedition Everest is worth seeing even if you don’t want to experience the attraction!
Even though it is named after the great mountain, the ride is not meant to be a copy of the real Mount Everest. It is a fictional Forbidden Mountain which takes it’s inspiration from the story of the Yeti. Disney Imagineers created the most complex animatronic figure for the Yeti – unfortunately it always broke down quite a bit and is at the time of writing not working!
This is a roller coaster with twists, turns and drops. Definitely not one for the faint hearted. Yes it has the fabulous Disney touch, but at heart it is a fairly serious thrill experience.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that this roller coaster is like Big Thunder Mountain – it is much more intense. Disney does emphasize that this is a family ride and many children do love it. But just be aware that some children also find it quite scary – just use your best judgment and remember that you can always use the Child Swap facility if your little one either doesn’t meet the 44″ height requirement of just doesn’t want to ride.
As you would expect Disney’s Expedition Everest is a popular ride. Head straight there when you enter the park in the morning if you want to skip the lines. Use a Fast Pass and the Single Rider line to save time.
There are so many great roller coasters in Walt Disney World. Whether you want the speed of Rock N Roller Coaster or the classic Space Mountain there is a Disney World roller coaster for everyone.
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